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Willard Reeves, 1928-1949


Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 3/6/2009 at 22:35:24

Willard Reeves Passed Away Friday Afternoon
Sad Death Of Popular Young Man

Graettinger people were saddened Friday evening by the news that Willard (Dugan) Reeves, 20, of Estherville, had passed away, a victim of lockjaw. News of his critical illness was published in last week's Times and as lockjaw is a serious ailment there was much anxiety about him. But he was young and rugged and most people were confident he would recover.

It is presumed the blood poisoning was caused from a sliver that entered his arm while working near a horse manger. The sliver was removed but the wound resulted in tetanus, commonly called lockjaw. A couple of days after receiving the injury from the sliver he gave his wife a blood transfusion. She was a medical patient at the time. She is now being given serum treatment as a precaution against lockjaw.

Dugan, as he was familiarly known by all, became ill on Tuesday. He went into a coma Wednesday and never regained consciousness. In addition to the injury from the sliver and the blood transfusion he recently had a tooth pulled. When his jaws first started to ache last week he thought he had the mumps.

The funeral was held Monday afternoon at two o'clock at the First Methodist church, Estherville. The pastor, the Rev. John De Long, was assisted by the Rev. McMekkon, of Gruver. The large church was packed to capacity by sorrowing friends. Banks and banks of beautiful flowers surrounded the casket. Interment was in Oak Hill cemetery, Estherville. Pallbearers were Gilbert England, Eldon Miner, Alvin Johnson, Calvin Caywood, David Baumgartner, and Al Lauritzen.

Willard Max Reeves was born in Graettinger June 9, 1928. He received his education in the Graettinger schools. On June 13, 1947, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Tromp, of Gruver. The young couple subsequently made their home at Estherville.

About two weeks ago the young couple moved onto his father's farm northeast of Graettinger. They had made arrangements during the winter to operate the farm.

His sad and untimely death is mourned by his heart broken wife who, with their six months' old daughter survive. His death is also keenly felt by his sorrowing parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ben F. Reeves, of Estherville.

The death of this splendid young man is mourned by all the people of Graettinger who knew him and who know the family. Dugan's boyhood years were spent here and friends knew him as a serious minded youngster. He loved horses and dogs and athletic games, particularly baseball and when quite young was the leader of an outstanding team of teen age ball players. It is these things that come to mind to friends saddened by Dugan's death.

He was not only a splendid boy, but in young manhood was ambitious, loyal and trustworthy and anxious and determined to succeed in life. He was a devoted young husband and father, a son who honored his parents, and a brother whose loyalty was evident in all his actions.

Death is always sad and it is particularly sad when it strikes the young so suddenly and so unexpectedly. Willard Reeves had every reason to look forward to many years of joy and happiness and success. Loved ones who surrounded him had the same reason to feel that this was true. This is what makes the pangs of separation so hard to bear. We know the trials of the past and the sorrows of the present but can not perceive the future. Human nature at its strongest is but frail and we do not know the pitfalls that lie ahead. The ones whom God loves most are often protected in the way that He knows best.

The Times extends heartfelt sympathy to the wife and baby daughter, to the grief stricken parents and the sorrowing brothers and sisters and other relatives.

Source: The Graettinger Times, Graettinger, Iowa, April 15, 1949.


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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